Pope's Strong Words in Defense of the Unborn

09/20/2013 Comments (46)

Pope Francis addressing the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Catholic gynaecologists, 20 September 2013.

Pope Francis today gave his most spirited and explicit defense of the unborn and society's most vulnerable since his election.

The Holy Father was addressing the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Catholic gynaecologists, currently attending a conference in Rome. 

Below is my translation of Pope Francis' address, not the official English translation which is yet to be published in full:

"I apologize for the delay, because today ... this is a morning too complicated for audiences ... I apologize.

1 . The first point that I would like to share with you is this: we are witnessing today a paradoxical situation concerning the medical profession. On the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, elderly, gynecology, medicine, pope francis, pro-life, unborn

Applying Pope's Syria Efforts to Defend the Unborn and Marriage

09/13/2013 Comments (30)
Edward Pentin

Pope Francis has won much praise for his tireless efforts to bring peace to Syria.

– Edward Pentin

The Holy Father has, to borrow a political term, “momentum”.

His impressive peace-making efforts concerning Syria have captured much of the world’s attention and rightfully earned him and the Holy See praise.

Last Saturday’s vigil, which united millions around the world, followed an extraordinary day of praying and fasting for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Pope Francis' efforts, which included a detailed briefing for diplomats on how to bring peace to the country, even struck a chord with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But given the welcome attention the Pope has received over Syria, shouldn’t the Church also consider giving equal, if not more, weight to a place where...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, holy see, marriage, pope francis, same sex marriage, syria, unborn

Pope: In the Silence of the Cross, Uproar of Weapons Ceases

Full text of Pope Francis' homily at the Vigil of Prayer and Fasting in Saint Peter's Square, Saturday 7 September 2013.

09/07/2013 Comments (30)


“And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:12, 18, 21, 25). The biblical account of the beginning of the history of the world and of humanity speaks to us of a God who looks at creation, in a sense contemplating it, and declares: “It is good”. This allows us to enter into God’s heart and, precisely from within him, to receive his message.

We can ask ourselves: what does this message mean? What does it say to me, to you, to all of us?

1. It says to us simply that this, our world, in the heart and mind of God, is the “house of harmony and peace”, and that it is the space in which everyone is able to find their proper place and feel “at home”, because it is “good”. All of creation...READ MORE

Filed under middle east, peace, pope francis, syria

Pope Emeritus's Unexpected Homily on Humility

09/04/2013 Comments (25)
Giovanni Tridente

Benedict XVI with Archbishop Gaenswein in a photograph taken on Sunday.

– Giovanni Tridente

Although the full text has yet to appear, Benedict XVI’s homily during Mass for his former students on Sunday is one of wisdom and truth.

Essentially a treatise on humility, his words come as a welcome surprise, especially as the world wasn’t expecting to see or hear from the Pope Emeritus after his retirement.

He began by saying that "everyone is looking for a good place in history, and each wants to find his right place in life. The only question is: which place is good and which is right? The word of the Lord from last Sunday’s Gospel comes to mind: The first shall be last and the last shall be first. A seemingly good place can be a very bad place, and we know that this happens not...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, humility, schulerkreis

Pope Chooses Humble and Respected Diplomat as Secretary of State

08/31/2013 Comments (2)

– Wikipedia

Pope Francis today appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin, until now the Pope's diplomatic representative to Venezuela, as the new Vatican Secretary of State.

The 58 year-old apostolic nuncio replaces Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who will step down from heading the most important dicastery in the Roman Curia on October 15th. 

A modest, humble and highly competent Italian diplomat, Archbishop Parolin is well regarded in Rome. He is also the youngest prelate to be appointed Secretary of State since Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) in 1930 at the age of 53.

We will publish a full report on the appointment soon. In the meantime, here is Archbisop Parolin's statement, released today by...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal bertone, holy see, pietro parolin, pope francis, roman curia, secretary of state, vatican

Patriarch Twal: Attack Syria on What Authority?

08/30/2013 Comments (10)

His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.


In a break from his more usual diplomatic style, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, has lambasted the proposed policy of the U.S. government and its allies to launch air strikes against Syria.

In a forceful statement, released Wednesday, he questions the authority of these states to launch an attack, wonders who appointed them to be "policemen of democracy", and warns of the risk of more civilian casualties.

Each of his four points is an attempt to appeal to reason:

• “Why declare war when UN experts have not yet delivered the definitive findings on the chemical nature of the attack and the formal identity of its agents?  We witness here a logic reminiscent of the Iraq...READ MORE

Filed under middle east, patriarch twal, syria

Benedict XVI Makes Brief Trip to Castel Gandolfo

08/20/2013 Comment
Edward Pentin

Two residents of Castel Gandolfo watch Pope Francis celebrate Mass in the town on the Feast of the Assumption, Aug. 15, 2013.

– Edward Pentin

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI briefly returned to the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, where he spent time in prayer and attended a small concert in his honor.

He was accompanied by four 'memores domini', consecrated women belonging to the Communion and Liberation movement. When he was Pope, they looked after him in the apostolic palace, and continue to do so now as Pope Emeritus, in his new residence in the Vatican Gardens.

During his three hour visit, Benedict XVI recited the Rosary while taking a stroll in the villa gardens, just as he used to do when he was Roman Pontiff. He also attended a short piano recital of classical music performed in his honor before...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, castel gandolfo, john xxiii, pope francis

40 Churches Burned, Looted or Destroyed in Egypt

08/16/2013 Comments (27)

The video above (warning: contains some violent images) is CCTV footage showing a mob attacking St. George's Coptic Orthodox church in Sohag, Upper Egypt, a couple of days ago.  

The images haven't been independently verified, but reports coming out of the country say 64 churches and institutions, including many belonging to the Coptic Catholic Church, were attacked in one day by Islamist mobs opposed to the current government. The website "Protect the Pope" has the full list here.

Fr. Rafiq Greiche, spokesman for Egypt's Catholic bishops, told Vatican Radio today that "40 churches - 10 Catholic and 30 Orthodox, Protestant and Greek-Orthodox - have been looted or burned, if not...READ MORE

Filed under copts, egypt, islamist, muslim brotherhood

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin